“Openness is not an absolute good in itself”, Lord Falconer said in the Mostyn Memorial Lecture on 21st March. “Openness is good where openness is of benefit, crucially of benefit to the public [that] governments are here to serve”.
The Lord Chancellor’s comments were in response to significant pressure from news organisations not to go through with planned changes to the Freedom of Information Act which would drastically reduce the number of successful requests.
“The job of the Government is not to provide page leads for the papers,” Lord Falconer continued, “but information for the citizen. Freedom of information was never considered to be, and for our part will never be considered to be, a research arm for the media”.